352 HISTORY OF PERSIA the efforts of Aurangzeb, steadily increased in power until even the Emperor had to pay them blackmail. Mohamed Shah, the antagonist of Nadir, had succeeded to the throne in A.H. 1131 (1719). He was a worthless descendant of the Great Moghuls. Indolent and voluptuous, " never without a mistress in his arms and a glass in his hand," this despicable monarch was a sorry contrast to the virile Nadir, and his unwarlike troops were wholly unfit to face the Persian veterans. Treachery also is believed to have been at work, some of the leading nobles of India being in correspondence with Nadir and weakening the hands of the officers in command of the fortresses. The Negotiations.—Nadir had apprized the Court of Delhi of his Afghan campaign and had requested that no fugitives should be allowed to find asylum across the frontier. His envoy, Ali Mardan, Shamlu, was informed that necessary instructions had been given to the officials concerned, and a second envoy received a similar reply, Nevertheless, fugitives freely escaped to Ghazni and Kabul, and it was evident that proper orders to prevent this had not been given. Nadir sent another envoy to remonstrate, but he was detained at Delhi. This was the state of affairs after the capture of Kandahar, and the Great Afshar, free now to move his army in any direction, despatched three fresh envoys with instructions to insist on a definite reply. Failing again, he wrote .an indignant letter to the Emperor, but his messenger was killed by Valad Mir Abbas, the Governor of Jalalabad. The councillors of the Emperor, it would seem, failed -to realize the seriousness of the position. They hoped that Kandahar would prove impregnable, and when it fell they felt certain that the Persian army would return to its own country, much as Mohamed Shah of Khwarazm had believed that the Mongol hordes would never cross the Oxus. The Invasion of India.—From Kandahar Nadir marched north on Kabul, capturing Ghazni on the way, Kabul, the key to the Khyber Pass, which is the main land gate of India, offered a stout resistance, but was ultimately taken.